What We’re Missing by Missing out on Hemp & Cannabis - Wolf-PAC

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What We’re Missing by Missing out on Hemp & Cannabis

By Vincent DiBattista (April 20, 2023)

What if we could consult with the twelve most intelligent people to walk the planet? – people who were never part of our media environment. What would they say about our most daunting issues? Would they have solutions for food insecurity, health crises, pollution and climate change? They might just suggest the use of hemp and cannabis to help us save ourselves and the planet.

Starting Over

Bear with me, but I’d say that our society is based on century-old technical decisions that were more for protecting monopolies than for any other reason. Then and now, anti-hemp propaganda has been a key part of protecting those monopolies. Hemp can be used for food, fuel, plastics and paper, but only by teaching school age children about all this can we make a start on re-imagining society (Ahmed et al., 2022).

I wish I knew all about this plant when I was twelve. I can see a different reality in which I studied related subjects. By 18, I would have been looking to start a farm. I imagine moving out west to California’s Emerald Triangle and perhaps becoming a major player in cannabis growing. I might even have moved into politics, realizing it would be the best way to get everyone moving in the right direction for this remarkable plant.

In reality, though, I was paranoid. When I was growing up, had I talked about studying weed, my parents would have called the cops. I think that was by design. I instead went into our family printing business and started a family. While it’s never too late to change paths, I can’t abandon my responsibilities. The commitment needed for increasing the use of industrial hemp is better left in the hands of today’s youth.

I believe if we taught young people about the benefits of hemp, we could put them on a legitimate and legal path to a career, job security and a good life that meets their personal responsibilities. But from what I can tell in raising two teenagers, the message from school and society is the same: a successful career is being a lawyer for an oil company (…Greta who?).

Starting over, imagine a whole new generation knowing the following facts.

  • Hemp grows in many different countries (Drug Policy Facts Staff, n.d.).
  • Hemp has the highest amount of protein of any plant food (Sherrell & Rose-Francis, 2022).
  • Hemp has the perfect fatty acid ratio for human consumption (WebMD Editorial Contributors, 2020).
  • Hemp cleans the air twice as much as trees and yields 4x as much pulp (Lonescu, 2022, McLaughlin, 2019, Plester, 2022).
  • Hemp is an efficient mop crop that pulls toxins from the soil (Placido & Lee, 2022).
  • Hemp and certain mushrooms could help clean up Fukushima (Ashraf et al., 2019).
  • Hempcrete locks carbon in its cellulose. It is also fireproof (Lotus, 2022).
  • Hemp walls have an insulation rating of R-30 (Lotus, 2022).
  • Hemp is over 15 times more energy efficient than corn as an ethanol fuel crop (Farmer, 2017).
  • Hemp can serve as an efficient and effective alternative to graphene in batteries (Morgan, 2014).

In addition to all this, THC has been proven to kill cancer cells by apoptosis and not harming any other cell (Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 2016). Low dose THC removes amyloid plaque from mice brains and restores youthful cognition (Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 2016). THC can reconnect synapses for Alzheimer’s (Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 2016).

The Opposition to Hemp & Cannabis

We don’t need to fight to control resources (hemp and cannabis grows all over the world). We could end wars and famine, apartheid, oil/mining, and slavery. This plant means hope! But in mentioning hope, we must also examine the opposition to hemp and cannabis (Potfacts Staff, 2014).

Early in the last century, the political power of certain vested interests greatly expanded. By one story, the expanding oil industry viewed fuel from hemp as competition (Herer, 1992). The early plastics industry was dominated by products derived from oil (Nagalakshmaiah et al., 2019). According to Herer (1992), a combination of interests in oil, paper and plastics nipped hemp in the bud. Though this is by no means settled history, it’s certainly convenient that industrial hemp was effectively outlawed in 1937, along with marijuana as a drug (U.S. Customs and Border Protection Staff, 2019).

In today’s market, hemp is still left in the dust compared to its more polluting and unscrupulous  rivals. In 2022, the oil and gas lobby spent nearly $125 million dollars to lobby the government to favor their industry and simultaneously keep out hemp based fuel and plastics (OpenSecrets Staff, 2023, 2023a). Top donors are Koch Industry (oil & timber), Exxon-Mobil, and Chevron. Exxon-Mobil Chemical is a top plastics manufacturer as well as DowDupont. Top political recipients from the oil and gas lobby include Joe Manchin and Kevin McCarthy (Statista, 2023, 2023a; OpenSecrets Staff, 2023, 2023a).

Hemp and cannabis (and their possible products and benefits) have continually been maligned since the 1930s. Legal barriers that have existed since the 1930s are still there. But the biggest obstacle for hemp and cannabis is the amoral alliance of money and politics.

The world is burning. Even so, we’re still ushering our kids right off the cliff by putting profits before people. I can sense the hopelessness, but I refuse to look away. With its wide potential, hemp and cannabis could be solutions to a myriad of contemporary issues. When I consider younger generations, I am moved by their determination in the face of a bleak future. Moreover, I am inspired by their openness to solutions, as well as their commitment to change. They remind me that there is still a chance for America, if we can do what’s needed to get there. Please join or donate to Wolf-PAC: Take action!  https://wolf-pac.com/


The Wolf-PAC all-volunteer Communications Team created this post!

  • Editing by Brian Martel, and Sophie Klitgaard


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